Now God be with the men who stand
    In Legislative halls, to-day.
Those chosen princes of our land---
    May God be with them all, I say,
And may His wisdom, guide, and shield them,
   For mighty is the trust we yield them.

Oh, men! who hold a people's fate,
    There in the hollow of your hand.
Each word you utter, soon, or late,
    Shall leave its impress on our land,---
Forth from the halls of legislation,
   Shall speed its way through all our nation.

Then, may The Source of Truth, and Light,
    Be ever o'er you, ever near.
And may He guide each word aright;
    May no false precept, greet the ear,
No selfish love, for purse, or faction,
   Stay Justices' hand, or guide one action.

And may no one, among these men
    Lift to his lips, the damning glass,
Let no man say, with truth, again,
    What has been said, in truth, alas,
"Men drink, in halls of legislation---
   Why shouldn't we, of lower station!"

Oh, men! you see, you hear this beast,
    This fiend that pillages the earth,
Whose work is death---whose hourly feast,
    Is noble souls, and minds of worth---
You see---and if you will not chain him,
   Nor reach one hand forth, to detain him,

For God's sake, do not give him aid,
    Nor urge him onward. Oh, to me
It seems so strange that laws are made
    To crush all other crimes, while he
Who bears down through Hell's gaping portals
The countless souls, of rum wrecked mortals,

Is left to wander, to, and fro,
    In perfect freedom through the land.
And those who ought to see, and know,
    Will lift no warning voice, or hand.
Oh, men in halls of legislation,
   Rise to the combat, save the Nation!

January, 1871.

Shells. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee:Hauser & Storey, 1873.

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